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Missions 101

Spurgeon's Missiology: "Go and Teach Them"

Nov. 11, 2016By: Evan Burns

Charles Spurgeon equally upheld a passion for converting lost souls and for making disciples of all nations.  In his sermon on April 21, 1861, Spurgeon unpacked the role of teaching disciples in missions.  Here is an example of his missiology from the sermon entitled, “The Missionaries’ Charge and Charter”: 

First, my Brethren and very briefly, indeed, a few things about the COMMAND.

And we must remark, first, what a singularly loving one it is….  [Christ] says to His disciples, as He is about to ascend to Heaven, “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth; go you, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” It is the voice of love, not of wrath. “Go and teach them the power of My blood to cleanse, the willingness of My arms to embrace, the yearning of My heart to save! Go and teach them. Teach them no more to despise Me, no more to think My Father an angry and implacable Deity. Teach them to bow the knee, and kiss the Son, and find peace in Me for all their troubles, and a balm for all their woes. Go—speak as I have spoken—weep as I have wept; invite as I have invited; exhort, entreat, beseech and pray, as I have done before you. Tell them to come unto Me, if they are weary and heavy laden, and I will give them rest…. 

Note, too, how exceedingly plain is the command, “Go you, teach all nations.”…  Why, it is the mother’s work with her child! It is the tutor’s work with the boy and with the girl—“go you and teach.” How simple! Illustrate; explain; expound; tell; inform; narrate! Take from them the darkness of ignorance; reveal to them the light of Revelation. Teach! Be content to sit down, and tell them the very plainest and most common things. It is not your eloquence that shall convert them; it is not your gaudy language or your polished periods that shall sway their intellects. Go and teach them. Teach them! Why, my Hearer, I say again—this is a word which has to do with the rudiments of knowledge. We do not preach to children; we teach them; and we are not so much to preach to nations; that word seems too big and great for the uncivilized and childish people; go you and teach them first the very simplicities of the Cross of Christ!...

I do not know whether all our missionaries have caught the idea of Christ—“Go you and teach all nations;” but many of them have, and these have been honored with many conversions. The more fully they have been simple teachers, not philosophers of the Western philosophy, not eager disputants concerning some English dogma—I say the more plainly they have gone forth as teachers sent from God to teach the world, the more successful have they been! “Go you, therefore, and teach.”… 

There has been heroism in every land for Christ—men of every color and of every race have died for Him; upon His altar has been found the blood of all kindreds who are upon the face of the earth. Oh, tell me not they cannot be taught! Sirs, they can be taught to die for Christ; and this is more than some of you have learned. They can rehearse the very highest lesson of the Christian religion—that self-sacrifice which knows not itself, but gives up all for Him. At this day there are Karen missionaries preaching among the Karens with as fervid an eloquence as ever was known by Whitefield! There are Chinese teaching in Borneo, Sumatra, and Australia, with as much earnestness as Morison or Milne first taught in China. There are Hindu Evangelists who are not ashamed to have given up the Brahmian thread, and to eat with the Pariah, and to preach with him the riches of Christ! There have been men found of every class and kind, not only able to be taught, but able to become teachers themselves, and the most mighty teachers, too, of the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ! Well was that command warranted by future facts, when Christ said, “Go you, teach all nations.”


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